Robert Duce

Robert Duce

University Distinguished Professor Emeritus

  (979) 229-3821

  Eller O&M 906


  • Impact of nutrients, especially iron and nitrogen, transported in the atmosphere and deposited in the ocean on oceanic chemistry and biological productivity
  • Atmospheric and marine chemistry with particular interest in the global cycling of trace elements in the troposphere
  • Role of air/sea exchange processes in global cycling of trace elements
  • Transport of mineral aerosol from desert regions to the ocean
  • Chemistry of atmospheric particles in remote areas of the globe with particular emphasis on the long range transport of air pollution material
  • Relationship between ocean science and ocean policy

Selected Publications

  • G. Wang, R. Zhang, M. Zamora, M. Gomez, et al., “Diagnosis and cure for persistent severe haze in China”, submitted to Nature (2016).
  • Breviere , E.H.G., D.C.E. Bakker, H.W. Bange, T.S. Bates, T.G. Bell, P.W. Boyd,   R.A. Duce, et al., “Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study: scientific synthesis and contribution to Earth system science”, In press, Anthropocene, (2016).
  • Malone, T., M. Azzaro, A. Bode, E. Brown, R. Duce, D. Kamykowski, S. Kang, et al., “Chapter 6, Primary production, cycling of nutrients, surface layer and plankton”, 67pp, in The First Global Integrated Marine Assessment, L. Inniss and A. Simcock, coordinators, United Nations Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea, New York, NY (2015).
  • Kim, T.-W., K. Lee, R.A. Duce, and P.S. Liss, Impact of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on phytoplankton productivity in the South China Sea, Geophys. Res. Lett., DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059665 (2014).
  • Duce, R.A., A dusty planet, Oceanography, 27, 66-68 (2014).
  • Duce, R.A., K.J. Benoit-Bird, J. Ortiz, R.A. Woodgate, P. Bontempi, M. Delaney, S.D. Gaines, S. Harper, B. Jones, and L.D. White, Myths in funding ocean research at the National Science Foundation, EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 93, 533-534 (2012).
  • Schulz, M., J.M. Prospero, A.R. Baker, F. Dentener, L. Ickes, P.S. Liss, N.M. Mahowald, S. Nickovic, M. Sarin, and R.A. Duce, The atmospheric transport and deposition of mineral dust to the ocean - implications for research needs, Environmental Science and Technology, 46, 10,390-10,404 (2012).
  • Kanakidou, M., R.A. Duce, J.M. Prospero, A.R. Baker, et al., Atmospheric fluxes of organic N and P to the global ocean, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 26, GB3026, doi:10.1029/2011GB004277 (2012).
  • Duce, R.A. and A.-M. Schmoltner, Obituary for Dr. Jarvis L. Moyers, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 93, 106-107 (2012).
  • Hunter, K.A., P.S. Liss, V. Surapipith, F. Dentener, R. Duce, M. Kanakidou, et al., Impacts of anthropogenic SOx, NOx and NH3 on acidification of coastal waters and shipping lanes, Geophysical Research Letters, 38, L13602, doi:10.1029/2011GL047720 (2011).
  • Okin, G., A.R. Baker, I. Tegen, N.M. Mahowald, F.J. Dentener, R.A. Duce, et al., Impacts of atmospheric nutrient deposition on marine productivity: roles of nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 25, GB2022, doi:10.1029/2010GB003858 (2011)
  • Duce, R.A., A.-M. Schmoltner, and W.C. Keene, Obituary for Dr. Jarvis L. Moyers, EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 92, 351 (2011).
  • Duce, R.A., J.N. Galloway, and P.S. Liss, The impacts of atmospheric deposition to the ocean on marine ecosystems and climate, WMO Bulletin, 58(1), 61-66 (2009).
  • Duce, R.A., J. LaRoche, K. Altieri, et al., Impacts of anthropogenic atmospheric nitrogen on the open ocean, Science 320, 893-897 (2008).
  • Duce, R.A., N. Targett, et al., A review of the Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy, National Research Council Press, 136pp (2007).
  • Mahowald, N.M., A.R. Baker, G. Bergametti, N. Brooks, R.A. Duce, et al., The atmospheric global dust cycle and iron inputs to the ocean, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 19, GB4025, doi:10.1029/2004GB002402 (2005).
  • Duce, R.A., Aerosols, Encyclopedia of World Climates, 4-6, J.E. Oliver, Ed., Kluwer, Dordrecht, (2005).
  • Jickells, T.D., Z. S. An, K. K. Andersen, A. R. Baker, G. Bergametti, N. Brooks, J. J. Cao, P. W. Boyd, R. A. Duce, K. A. Hunter, et al., Global iron connections between desert dust, ocean biogeochemistry, and climate, Science, 308, 67-71 (2005).
  • Duce, R.A. and M.E. Huber, The Development of a United Nations Global Marine Assessment Program, Prepared for a UN General Assembly Experts Meeting On Global Marine Assessment, 80pp, New York (2004).
  • Lu, H., F. Zhang, X. Liu, and R.A. Duce, Periodicities of paleoclimatic variations recorded by loess-paleosol sequence in China, Quaternary Science Reviews, 23, 1891-1900 (2004).
  • Arimoto, R., R.A. Duce, B.J. Ray, and U. Tomza, Dry deposition of trace elements to the western North Atlantic, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 17(1), 1010.doi:10.1029/2001GB001406, (2003).
  • Huber, M.E., R.A. Duce, J.M. Bewers, D. Insull, L. Jeftic, and S Keckes, Priority problems facing the global marine and coastal environment and recommended approaches for their solution, Ocean & Coastal Management, 46, 479-485 (2003).
  • Mace, K.A., N. Kubilay, and R.A. Duce, Organic nitrogen in rain and aerosol in the Eastern Mediterranean atmosphere - An association with atmospheric dust, J. Geophys. Res. 108(D10), 10.1029/2002JD003058, (2003).
  • Mace, K.A., R.A. Duce, and N.W. Tindale, Organic nitrogen in rain and aerosol at Cape Grim, Tasmania, Australia, J. Geophys. Res. 108(D11), 10.1029/2002JD003051, (2003).
  • Cornell, S., T. Jickells, J.N. Cape, P. Rowlands, and R. Duce, Organic nitrogen deposition on land and coastal environments: a review of methods and data, Atmos. Environ., 37, 2173-2191 (2003).
  • Mace, K.A., P. Artaxo, and R.A. Duce, Water-soluble organic nitrogen in Amazon Basin aerosols during the dry (biomass burning) and wet seasons, J. Geophys. Res., 108(D16), 10.1029/2003JD003557, (2003).
  • Sander, R., W.C. Keene, A.A.P. Pszenny, R. Arimoto, R.A. Duce, et al., Inorganic bromine in the marine boundary layer: a critical review, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 3, 1301-1336 (2003).
  • Wells, P.G., R.A. Duce, and M.E. Huber, Caring for the sea - accomplishments, activities, and future of the United Nations GESAMP, Ocean and Coastal Management, 45, 77-89 (2002).
  • Mace, K.A. and R.A. Duce, Determination of urea in atmospheric aerosols and natural waters - A cation exchange method, Int. J. Env. Analyt. Chem., 82, 341-352 (2002).
  • Savoie, D.L., R. Arimoto, W.C. Keene, J.M. Propsero, R.A. Duce, and J.N. Galloway, Marine biogenic and anthropogenic contributions to non-sea-salt sulfate in the marine boundary layer over the North Atlantic ocean, J. Geophys. Res., 107, 4356-4366 (2002).
  • Mace, K.A. and R.A. Duce, On the use of UV photo-oxidation for the determination of total nitrogen in rainwater and water-extracted atmospheric aerosol, Atmos. Environ., 36, 5937-5946 (2002).
  • Duce, R.A. and P.S. Liss, The surface ocean - lower atmosphere study (SOLAS), Atmos. Environ., 36, 5119-5120 (2002).
  • North, G. and R.A. Duce, Climate change and the ocean, Chapter 4 in Oceans 2020: Science, Trends, and the Challenge of Sustainability, J.G. Field, G. Hempel, and C.P. Summerhayes, eds., Island Press, Washington, 85-108, (2002).
  • Duce, R.A. The Health of the World's Oceans, Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10, UNESCO, Paris (2002).
  • Cornell, S., K. Mace, S. Coeppicus, R. Duce, B. Huebert, T. Jickells, and L-Z. Zhuang, Organic nitrogen in Hawaiian rains and aerosol, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 7973-7983 (2001).
  • Duce, R.A., GSO and John Knauss, Oceanography, 14(2), 41-46 (2001).
  • Duce, R.A., Atmospheric input of pollutants, Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, Academic Press, New York, 192-201 (2001).
  • Duce, R.A., ed., Emerging problems and new perspectives, Chapter 3 in Land-Based Sources and Activities Affecting the Quality and Uses of the Marine Environment, United Nations Environment Program, Nairobi, 41-55 (2001).
  • Hunter, K.A., P.W. Boyd, R.A. Duce, and others. Chapter 9, Summary and Recommendations, in The Biogeochemistry of Iron in Seawater, D.R. Turner and K.A. Hunter, eds., John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, 373-387 (2001).


Ph.D. Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry, MIT, 1964

B.A. Chemistry, Baylor University, cum laude, 1957

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Geology and Geophysics, MIT, 1964-1965

Additional Information


The importance of water-soluble organic nitrogen compounds in the atmosphere and their input to the ocean. Marine biogeochemistry and its role in climate change and vice versa. The health of the oceans and global marine assessment activities - the relation between ocean science and policy.


  • University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Departments of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences, TAMU, 2006–present
  • University Distinguished Professor, Departments of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences, TAMU, 2004–2006
  • Professor, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, 1991–2004
  • Visiting Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, 1997–1998
  • Dean, College of Geosciences and Maritime Studies, Texas A&M University, 1991–1997
  • Dean, Graduate School of Oceanography and Vice Provost for Marine Affairs, University of Rhode Island, 1987–1991
  • Associate Professor/Professor, Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 1970–1991
  • Director, Center for Atmospheric Chemistry Studies, University of Rhode Island, 1981–1991
  • Visiting Professor, Applied Chemistry, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan, 1985
  • Visiting Professor, Chemistry, University of Otago, New Zealand, 1983
  • Collaborateur Etranger, CFR/CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette, France, 1976–1977
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Chemistry, University of Hawaii, 1965–1970


  • Fellow, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
  • The Robert A. Duce Named Symposium "Air-Sea Exchange: Impacts on the Atmosphere and Ocean", 2013 American Meteorology Society Meeting, Austin, TX, January, 2013.
  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union
  • Fellow, American Meteorological Society
  • Fellow, The Oceanography Society
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Rosenstiel Award in Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry
  • National Associate of the National Academies
  • Distinguished Service Award, Sea Grant Association


  • Co-Chair, NAS/NRC Committee on the Future of Atmospheric Chemistry Research, 2015-present
  • Member, National Academy of Sciences Advisory Group for the NAS Gulf of Mexico Program, 2013-2015
  • Member, Ocean Research Advisory Panel (ORAP) (a FACA committee), 2013-2015
  • Chair, NAS/NRC Ocean Studies Board, 2012-2015
  • Chair, NSF Committee of Visitors for the Ocean Sciences Division, 2012
  • Co-Chair, UN/WMO/GESAMP Working Group 38, The Atmospheric Input of Chemicals to the Ocean, 2007-present
  • Vice Chair, UN Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), 1998–2000, 2002–2004, Chairman, 2000–2002, Member, 1986–present
  • Member, Scientific Steering Committee, US GEOTRACES Program, 2009-2014
  • Member, Program Advisory Committee for the Ocean Observatories Initiative, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, 2008-2013
  • Co-Chair, NAS/NRC Committee on Scientific Ocean Drilling, 2010-2011
  • Past-President, SCOR (ICSU Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research), 2004-2008; President, 2000–2004
  • Member, SCOR Executive Committee (ICSU), 1995–2008
  • Member, National Sea Grant Review Panel, 2000–2009
  • Member, Scientific Steering Committee, International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, 2005–2011, Treasurer, 2006–2011
  • Member, NAS/NRC Ocean Studies Board, 2001–2007, 2012-2015
  • Member, US National Committee for the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), 2000–2007
  • Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian SOLAS Program, 2002–2007
  • Life Member, International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution, President, 1983–1987
  • Chair, UCAR SPEC Review Panel for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, 2000–2005
  • Chair, Program Committee for the Fall AGU Meeting, 1998–2002
  • Co-Chair, Planning Committee for the IGBP/SCOR Surface Ocean/Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS), 1997–2001
  • Member, AGU Meetings Committee, 1998–2003
  • Member, Fellows Committee, Atmospheric Sciences Section, AGU, 1997–2003
  • President, International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, 1995–1999
  • President, The Oceanography Society, 1996–1998
  • Member, National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Geosciences, 1994–1998
  • Member, Director's Advisory Committee, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1993–1999
  • Member, Executive Committee, NASULGC Board on Oceans and Atmospheres, 1993–1998

Update My Profile